President Joe Biden says that Ukraine is not ready to join NATO because the country’s war with Russia must end before the military alliance can consider allowing Kyiv to join.
“I don’t think there is unanimity in NATO about whether or not to bring Ukraine into the NATO family now, at this moment, in the middle of a war,” Biden told CNN in an interview aired Sunday. “We’re determined to commit [to] every inch of territory that is NATO territory. It’s a commitment that we’ve all made no matter what. If the war is going on, then we’re all in war. We’re at war with Russia, if that were the case.”
Allowing Ukraine to join NATO while it is still at war with Russia could spark another world war.
Article 5 of the NATO treaty states that members “agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence.”
This means if Ukraine joins the alliance while it is still at war with Russia, all 31 other NATO members would then be at war with Russia.
Biden also told the outlet that he has spoken to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about the issue and that he’s pledged for the U.S. to treat Ukraine like Israel by providing security and weaponry for Kyiv while the nation is under attack.
Biden also said he thinks it is possible for Ukraine to join the alliance.
“I think we have to lay out a rational path for Ukraine to be able to qualify to be able to get into NATO,” the president said. “But I think it’s premature to say, to call for a vote, you know … because there’s other qualifications that need to be met, including democratization and some of those issues.”
The White House may not be ready to allow Ukraine to join NATO, but the Biden administration is still sending weapons to Ukraine, including cluster munitions, as it starts a counteroffensive against Russia.